Forget the mid-life crisis, we’re more worried about the mid-20s crisis!

Turning 30 in a few years? Freaking out about it? You're not alone…


by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

While most of us are well aware of the mid-life crisis, we have a feeling less people are aware of the mid-20s version. And, to be honest, it's infinitely more bewildering than the grown-up one. When you hit 25, you become acutely aware of two things; firstly, you're going to be 30 in five years time. Secondly, you're going to have to start making decisions for the long-term, rather than the here-and-now… and it can get a little overwhelming.

So what is it about your mid-20s that can get you going crazy?


As in, there isn't one.

Not this place again...
Not this place again...

Many graduates will tell you that landing the dream job when you fall out of university isn't easy. We might have confidently predicted we'd be working our way up the career ladder, earning around £24000 minimum by now and well on our way to securing that £30000 pay cheque when we hit 30. Big fat wrong-oh, eh?

Nearly 1 in 10 students are believed to be unemployed six months after graduating, plenty of us have had to take on jobs that require no degree whatsoever and plenty have struggled through unpaid internships to find themselves in a minimum wage job loosely based around their target career.

The only light at the end of the tunnel is that we don't have to pay off our student loans until we're earning actual money.

So, like, never then?


Plenty of people are choosing to go back into higher education and retrain, either as teachers, medical professionals or other key workers. The increase in graduate unemployment has brought enrolments on postgraduate programmes to an all time high, and careers advisers say more students are opting for further study as a means of "riding out the recession" or giving themselves a competitive edge in the jobs market.

So many essays, so little time.

In fact, a quarter of all students in UK higher education are now postgrads. But is it worth it? While research suggests postgraduates are highly employable and earn more than those with a first degree, it's a lot of effort, costs a fair bit of money AND it takes a long old time, too. We have to decide whether we're ready to give up our (very low) rung on the career ladder and take a gamble on a second degree - but what if we come out to find ourselves in exactly the same situation as we are now? Just older and less hopeful for the future?

That would suck. Majorly.


More and more people in their 20s are living at home with their parents. And no wonder - just last week it was revealed that first time buyers in London now have to find a record average deposit of £64,000, or 25 per cent, for a home costing £256,853. Prices are still rising at around 6 per cent a year.

Can we get a big fat "HELL NO!" from all the mid-20s folks out there?

At least we can still have sleepovers, eh?

Rents are also close to or at all-time highs in many parts of London, with landlords often demanding two months months payments up front as a deposit. The average London monthly rent stood at £1,118, up 5.7 per cent, in July, according to buy to let specialists LSL. Moving out and setting up a family home of your own is a rite of passage (just ask your 'rents) but, for many, it's no longer an option. At all.

We're stuck in our childhood bedrooms, stuck coming into the city everyday on ridiculously early trains, stuck in a weird timewarp and denied the chance to move out and, you know, be free. Plus we're trapping our poor parents into living with us for years, too. They should be celebrating / sobbing over their empty nest, not cooking dinner for four, watching boyfriends and girlfriends stay over with a wary eye and, generally, tearing their hair out over their kids for a LOT longer than expected.


Working crazy hours, whether you're struggling up the career ladder or trying to nail that postgrad degree, can be tiring. Too tiring to see your friends even, sometimes. Thanks to Facebook, it's pretty easy to keep up to date with your pals, but getting together for a face-to-face convo is harder.

You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose. Or something to that effect.

It's all about quality over quantity - with such busy schedules, you need to work out who you actually want to see and which friendships you want to nurture. Which friends are for life and which ones are just, like, filler friends? Because, if you don't make a decision soon, you'll just end up burning yourself out. Sad but true.


When you're at university, or even just out of university, dating feels more about the fun factor. But, as the big 3-0 approaches, we find ourselves at the sort of stage in our lives where the older generation expects us to be settling down.

Boyfriends become more long term, people start making loaded comments about The One and, every now and then, they'll ask you whether you think you're going to get married. No pressure then, eh?

It's not like you can even move in together, thanks to those bloody house prices, so how on earth are you supposed to even THINK about affording a wedding too?

The cake alone is too expensive to contemplate!

Leave us alone. For the love of god, leave us alone.


Oh yeah, we went there.

Let's just say you DO go back to university to pursue that postgraduate degree at 25, come out when you're 27, work for a few years to get up the deposit for that house / flat, move in… and then you've got to work hard to pay off that mortgage. Sounds like a lot of work, huh? So when are the babies supposed to be happening, as our mothers so tactfully put it?

We should be free to choose when to start a family based on personal or professional circumstance, but there really is a biological clock tick-tick-ticking away - and getting pregnant later in life can be tricky. We want careers, we want babies, we want it all - and it's just getting a little too hard to have it all.

So where does the compromise thing happen? And what should we choose?


Some think a career is far more important, as it helps you claim some independence and self-fulfilment from your short time on earth. Others say having babies is the greatest thing you can ever do - and that waiting too long could be a risk that isn't worth taking.

We can't even think about babies at the moment, to be honest - but we kind of would like the option to have them one day. Is that not a thing we can do anymore?


Are you suffering a mid-20s crisis? Do you have any solutions for us? Let us know below via our Comments Box now.

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